Important Symbols2021-07-19T08:48:43+10:00

Important Symbols

The Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL) uses several symbols.


The badge is a symbol of readiness at all times to render service to the country and to former comrades. No wealth or influence can purchase the RSL badge which may be worn only by those who are members of the RSL.

The SHIELD shape is symbolic of the protection which the RSL gives to its members, their dependants, and widows and orphans of those who paid the supreme sacrifice.

RED represents the blood ties of war that exist between comrades.

WHITE stands for the purity of the motives in joining the League – to render service without thought of personal gain or ambition.

BLUE indicates a willingness to render that service to a comrade anywhere under the blue sky – wherever he or she may be.

The wattle is symbolic of Australia. The leek, rose, thistle and shamrock represent the link with Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland respectively.

Depicted in the centre of the badge, and encircled by the name of the organisation, are a sailor, soldier, airman and servicewoman marching together with their arms linked in friendship. This is to show that within the circle of the League, all Services and all ranks march together in unity and comradeship.

To learn more about the RSL badge design and how it has changed over the last 100 years please click here RSL Badge Symbolism.


The RSL Motto is “The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance”. To read about the history behind the motto please click here The RSL Motto.


The Ode is read at a variety of commemorative services and a copy is available here The Ode.

The Poppy

The poppy is used on Remembrance Day and the use of this flower as a symbol of remembrance goes back to 1915 to read more please click here History of the Poppy.


The Memorial Scroll and Plaque were issued after the First World War to the next-of-kin of all allied service personnel who were killed as a result of the war. The plaques were made of bronze and were popularly known as the “Dead Man’s Penny”, because of the similarity in appearance to a penny coin. To see an image of the Scroll and Plaque and learn more about these items please follow this link